Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oops, mild jet (train?) lag

Right, so sleeping is hard. It's about 1:ooam (4 hrs later than home) and I'm wide awake. Not quite jet lag as I've been in this time zone since Wednesday morning. However, being sleep deprived and being unable to keep my eyes open when in a moving vehicle, I managed to sleep for what seemed like most of a 7-hour train ride today. If only workdays would pass so quickly.

Apparently my French accent is bizarre to the Moroccans. It used to be a French territory so French is, supposedly, still the language of business and government. For me, the hardest part of French has always being comprehending what others say, listening. The accent here isn't too hard to understand, but I apparently sound like a dieing koala or something.

Conversation with lady at train station:
Jen: Nous avons besoin de deux billets a Casa Voyageurs pour lundi, svp.
Femme: Quand?
Jen: Lundi.
Femme: Demain?
Jen: Non, lundi.
Femme: dimache? Ou demain?
Jen: Luuuuundi!
Femme: What?
Jen: Monday. A treize heure cinquante.
Femme: ah, the 18th. Premiere classe ou deuxieme class?

Ah, franglais. My teachers told me it would never suffice; lies!

Then we had bizarre attempts at trying to communicate the credit card machine was down. I stopped paying attention since Devin was to pay for the train tickets. So we spent almost all our cash on train tickets and (probably) getting ripped off by our Petit Taxi to our Riad (accommodation). And the bank machine at the gare (train station) was down. Oh, right, and I had spent almost all my money getting henna on my hand/arm the night before in Crazyville. Of course, my MacPhail genes ensured I smeared it about ninety times  before it dried. Apparently it'll last about 3 weeks, which means my purse and dress should be clean in early May.  i actually kept smearing the same bit, so most of it is quite good. After getting it done Devin pointed out getting it on the left hand (I'm right handed) probably would had been smarter. Devin = wise. But neither of us were wise enough to think of it prior.

Attempt at sleep no. 3, commence!

Maroc(k) on!

I'm typing this from my wee phone so all typos *must* be forgiven, otherwise you are permitted to read no further... Unless we are blood relatives or have known me for at least five years. Then you get a free pass.

Morocco is amazing! Particularly the yellow food that is becoming a trend on this holiday. On the flight over from Montreal to London, Devin and I were offered, shock, chicken or beef. I went beef because I think chicken is far more popular than it deserves to be. My beef was in a mushroom sauce with tinned mushrooms served with neon yellow rice. The neon rice stained the plastic container neon yellow, making me leery. (quote of flight, Devin: "This dessert tastes more like a brownie!!" Jen: "Umm, Devin, it is a brownie."

For brekkie on the plane we were served cake. We were told right after take off that we would be served supper ("dinner", but I like to keep my terminology East Coast) and a "snack". I think it was supposed to be a tiny loaf of banana bread, and when it was served to us I said too loudly "Cake for breakfast?" and the air line attendant laughed. I felt it was European appropriate, trying to pass off pastry as breakfast. But it was cake, so it was actually American hotel chain continental breakfat appropriate. ("La Quinta doughnut, cake, cakey doughnut, or doughnutty cake?")

More neon yellow food followed. I made fun of my AC meal before pealing off my chicken container on Royal Air Maroc, only to be greeted by neon yellow chicken and potatoes. Cue (too loud) laughter. However, neon yellow potatoes seem to be a Moroccan staple and are, how do you say... Absolutely delicious. Also important, they match the shirt I'm wearing. And would look amazing in my bright bedroom.

Customs officer: "Anything to declare?"
Jen: *holds up duty-free whiskey* "An f-ing party! Wooooo!"
CO: "Uh huh... Anything else?"
Jen: "Yes, thirty pounds of cooked neon yellow delicious potatoes... And a small party."

Friday's neon yellow food came in the form of delicious veggie tagine. Tonight's neon yellow was with my delicious lamb chops. They could just put the word "delicious" in front of every menu option and I would nod in agreement. The only thing I don't like is the olives served with every meal. I've probably been served 50 olives so far, including on the plane. I have eaten 0.5 olives, which was 0.25 too many.

Better than olives but not as good as winning the lotto is the juice. Fresh squeezed! No canned crap here. I had OJ in Marrakech that was made about 8 seconds earlier. I had strawberry juice with lunch yesterday that made me want to get up on the table and have a dance party. It was like someone crush 800 sstarwberries in a glass and handed it to me trying to get rainbows to burst from my chest. Success!

Marrakech was not quite total chaos, but minor chaos that works. Everyone and their donkey (literally) is everywhere. People, cars, animals, bicycles, and motorbikes all somewhat yield to each other without yielding at all. A common understanding that you will not get more room than you need and we will not touch each other. If you are a visitor, do not even consider trying to participate in any way other than on foot. To hire a car would be akin to a person with a peanut allergy swimming in a delicious vat of peanut butter (yum). Also, based on our cabs, seatbelts are for losers who are SCARED and WHIMPY. Some cabs have the seatbelt part, but good luck finding something it'll buckle into. If you are squirmish in traffic, it's best just to close your eyes, though then you may miss the morning coffee delivered through the drivers window, the Moroccan version version of the driveway.

C'est tout. Not really, but I'm worried this won't even post as it's linked through an email due to Blogger not loading on my phone.

Bon voyage!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Sir, are a no-good pile of rubbish.

Starting in 2002, PEI implemented an Island-wide waste management scheme. I don't believe it has evolved much since; though I think the proper placement of a Tim Horton's cup still can conjure debate. (It seems compostable, but has a waxy exterior. SO MANY OPTIONS.) We have a large black waste bin, a large green bin for compost, and two recycling bags - one for plastic/glass/stuff, the other for paper.

High five PEI!

Except when doing mass spring cleaning and sharing one bin among five or six people. I came home from the market on Saturday afternoon to find a large dumpster in my driveway. Some people may think, "Oh darn, eye sore," but I'm pretty sure my eyes lit up like a cat gifted a large bag of catnip. The chance to binge my house of garbage? And not cause my waste bin to overflow for the next month? Brilliant. Amazing. Sexy, even. Apparently my landlord planned to clean out our garage, which basically looked like a Home Depot graveyard with a series of miscellaneous appliances, wood, and the more odd industrial oven and restaurant supplies. I binged things and it felt good. And I will 100% admit to not sorting it. Guilty pleasure. I honestly do 100% support recycling, sorting, etc., but this was up there with the pleasure I get from the odd Saturday or Sunday-afternoon drive. I try not to drive a lot (boo! driving! bad!) but I actually love driving on country roads with little traffic or divided highways in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia (speed limit is higher there than Ontario and Quebec). If I behave well 98% of the time, is it okay to slack 2%?

(This is when I imagine someone scolding me and saying, "I misbehaved once and now I have HERPES!")

That's all. I wrote this post eight hours ago and don't remember the direction in which it was going.